Hump Day: At least the Internet lets us play hockey from a safe distance

Hump Day 2 croppedHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Moncton Times & Transcript

As my nine-year-old nephew ages, I’ve noticed he’s becoming more and more addicted to online gaming. If you want to make him cry these days, don’t bother telling him Santa Claus got bitten by a rabid elf and is skipping Christmas, just tell him the Internet is down. Then sit back and wait for his eyes to water and his mouth to open up and make some inhuman sound like a tornado warning siren.

I stand not in judgment of him, but more as a kindred spirit. While I’m not addicted to online gaming, to say that I’m not addicted to the Internet would be like a Montreal Canadiens fan trying to convince you that they don’t care if the team ever wins another Stanley Cup – or a Toronto Maple Leafs fan trying to convince you that they even know what the Stanley Cup looks like. ‘What is this mythical trophy of which you speak – the silver cup named after a gentleman called Stanley?’

By now, you’ve probably figured out which team I support, however after not having had a Canadian team win the Stanley Cup since 1993 (for the record, it was Montreal), I think it’s long past due. Unfortunately, the Canadiens always seem to choke during the playoff and the Leafs are statistically eliminated within the first 30 seconds of the first game of the season in October.

‘Folks watching at home, we’ve never seen this before but the Leafs players are already practising their golf putts behind the bench and we haven’t even dropped the puck in the first game. Meanwhile, we’ve been told that the Canadiens will be practising the Heimlich manoeuvre on each other between periods for when the playoffs arrive and they invariably end up choking. There are also some other Canadian teams in the NHL – but we’ll only pay attention to them if they reach the finals. Then we’ll all flock to them and pretend we cared all along.’

I don’t bother watching many games on television because I’m usually online and following along on Facebook. A long string of happy Facebook updates are posted by friends every time their team scores. If the game isn’t going well, my Facebook newsfeed invariably fills with distraught messages of hockey-related grief and anxiety. Oh, and trust me, if I actually watched the game it would guarantee the Canadiens would lose, so I stay far away from the tube.

At least with hockey, there’s something to watch. Have you ever watched golf on television? Mind you, when Tiger Woods was still actually good it was exciting, but since he got caught cheating by his wife and they had a ‘frank and open discussion’ which led to her (allegedly) clocking him across the noggin with a golf club, he’s gone downhill.

boy computerBaseball isn’t much better, although I have to admit that the statistics are fascinating. If you really want to get into baseball, just studying the various batting and pitching statistics could be a full-time job. The volume of acronyms I found online for game statistics was incredible. If you ever see a pitcher with red hair and a big nostrils throw the ball to a batter with green eyes and bad breath, some obsessed fan out there has probably figured out every probability known to mankind regarding the pitch’s outcome.

I’ll give you one sure-fire statistic: watching baseball on television puts me to sleep 100 per cent of the time.

Football seems a bit more exciting, but it’s like watching a car accident. I’d find it hard to turn my head away because I’d be waiting for someone to have their head torn off or get a concussion so bad that they show up at the hospital with their brain in an empty margarine container and asking the doctor, ‘Is this bad?’ Other players, meanwhile, would get marched off the field in handcuffs after being arrested mid-game. NFL players in the U.S. can’t seem to stay out of jail. Between drugs, drunk driving, assault, murder and domestic violence, I’m not sure when they find the time to play football.

Where did this column start? I seem to have gone off on a tangent. Oh yeah, nephew addicted to Internet. Just terrible. Blah blah blah. I’m a hypocrite because I’m addicted, too. Blah blah blah. Have fun with that kiddo. If you think it’s taking up all your time now, wait until you hit ‍puberty. We’ll leave cold pizza and fluids on a tray outside your bedroom door so you don’t die – and keep sending me school photos every September so that Uncle Brian remembers what you look like!

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